While the Rialto High School has been getting its new football coach, Robert Mitchell, approved by the school board, athletic director Dan Williams has been out due to injuries suffered in an altercation at the school Jan. 7.
“Mr. Williams was a victim of a phsyical act that was committed in front of witnesses that included students,” Rialto Unified School District Communications Director Syeda Jafri said. “He is healing from his injuries that he sustained in the altercation. The suspect was trespassing and had no formal authorization or formal approval to use the school’s athletic field.”
Jafri said the incident was being investigated by San Bernardino PD, which has jurisdiction over the campus and Williams was not on administrative leave.
San Bernardino PD confirmed there is an ongoing investigation in the incident. A spokesperson indicated that Williams was trying to clear a field for a game. A non-student adult who was there with children confronted Williams. He punched Williams in the face several times, causing a concussion.
Williams declined to comment on the incident other than to confirm that he was not at school last week.
Dan Williams stepped away as Rialto High athletic director three years ago to spend time away from his family, now he’s paying it back.
Kevin Gilbreth has stepped down as Rialto A.D., as his football-playing son Cameron, is a freshman at Cajon High. Williams, 54, who had served in the position from 2008-2012, agreed to return. Gilbreth said he will be an assistant baseball coach at the school.
“I had conversations with the principal about it,” Williams said. “I knew what I was getting myself into. If I wasn’t going to do it, would someone else do an adequate job? That was my main reason.”
His wife supported him in the decision.
In Williams’ return, his focus is on the student portion of the student-athlete.
“One of my main goals is to make sure they graduate and stay eligible and go on to college,” he said. “We have had kids go to state, and I’d like to experience that again.”
Williams has coached football, wrestling, track and field, cross country and badminton during his career. In returning as athletic director, he is having to drop his position as head badminton coach and is seeking his replacement.
Williams got into teaching later than some, so he said he might have a decade before he can retire.
“I don’t have a lot more years to go,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘If I come back in, my plan is to ride it out (as A.D.).’”
Indian Springs and Rialto tied 1-1. My guess is that you’re going to have a lot of ties in the San Andreas League. The league goes 2 points for a win and 1 for a tie, so it’s difficult to create separation. And I don’t expect anyone to get separation.
Gavin Pachot has stepped down as head football coach at Rialto, saying, “I really feel like. the direction I was moving with the football team was not the same as the administration.”
In four seasons as head coach at Rialto, Pachot, a 1989 Fontana grad, was 24-20 with three playoff appearances. Prior to Pachot becoming the head coach, Rialto was 11-69 in the previous eight seasons. He said he plans on coaching next season and in fact was scheduled to be interviewed for the Summit head coaching job on Wednesday.
Unless I’m missing one, here’s the updated list of San Bernardino County head football coaching changes, with old coach, (2013 record in parentheses) and new coach
Arroyo Valley: old coach Tony DiThomas (3-7); new coach Demetrius Stewart
Cajon: old coach Kim Battin (2-8), new coach Nick Rogers
Don Lugo: old coach Lou Randall (3-7), new coach TBA
Ontario: old coach Ron Stocking Jr/ interim coach Ryan Alvarez (1-9); new coach TBA
Rialto: old coach Gavin Pachot (6-5), new coach TBA
Rim of the World: old coach Bob Gradillas (8-4), new coach TBA
Summit: old coach Cesar Villalobos (5-6), new coach TBA
Michael Anderson doesn’t know what kind of reception he’ll get, but he’s glad to get it out of the way early.
Anderson, who coached Rialto High girls basketball for 5 years, winning a CIF-SS title in 2011 and also becoming a state finalist that year, is now at Arroyo Valley. His first game back to Rialto is Thursday at 6 p.m.
He has some friends still at Rialto, but many administrators are no longer at the school from when Anderson started there. He knows some Rialto players and parents were upset when he left last season, to be closer to home where he can tend to his mother. It got worse when he took the job at Arroyo Valley, but that being closer to home made it a better fit.
“I’m glad it’s early, to get it out of the way,” Anderson said. “It (reaction) is going to be mixed.”
He doesn’t know what kind of a reception he will get, or if Rialto will try and get a big rowdy crowd to come in response to Anderson’s return. Having the first game between the teams at Rialto (instead of Arroyo Valley) helps Anderson. “So I can see what they do first,” he said.
He said he heard that Rialto covered up some banners or references to his CIF-SS championship team, but also said that could be part of a gym refurbishment.
His Arroyo Valleyteam is 8-8 after losing its league opener on Tuesday to Carter and received two big blows, as Claudia Orantes tore her knee against Carter and is out for the year. In addition, junior Tamara Trigg, who was transferring from Rialto to Arroyo Valley, was ruled out for the year by CIF-SS. Rialto is 2-9 after losing its league opener on Tuesday to San Gorgonio.
The picture above from staff photographer Gabe Acosta, that includes Rialto’s Birttany Neely (right) and Moreno Valley Rancho Verde’s Tierra Fuqua shows a bit of the physical nature of Friday’s Best of the Best All-Star Girls Basketball Game on Friday at Rialto High, a game won by the North, 71-59.